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Tanzania

 

Karibu Tanzania

The United Republic of Tanzania is colourful fusion of peoples and cultures, a land where ancient coastal kingdoms meet with tribal peoples of the interior, a land where eastern mystique blends with Africa's vibrancy and rhythms. It's a place of incredible contrasts, where endless stretches of palm-fringed beach rise to lushly forested mountains, where exotic, offshore islands offer relaxing respite and marine adventures.

For Travelers, one of Tanzania's most notable characteristics is its warmth and openness. It is a land whose culture and people are easily accessible, this is especially so within the sailing community. At ports you will be greeted constantly by "Karibu", the Swahili word of welcome.

Since it's independence in 1961, Tanzania has proven to be the most peaceful nation in Africa. This is paradoxically both despite of and as a result of the exceptional diversity of its people. Tanzania is home to more than 100 different tribal groups, each with its own language and customs. In addition 1 third of Tanzanians are Christians, 1 Third are Muslims, and the remaining third follow various indigenous religions. A minority of its people are descended from Asian settlers and practice Hinduism, Buddhism and other Eastern faiths.

Tanzania has 26 mikoa (regions). The current head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where the parliament and a few government offices are located. Between independence and 1996 the coastal city of Dar es Salaam had been the country's political capital. Today Dar es Salaam is still the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the unofficial seat of most government institutions. Dar es Salaam is the major seaport for Tanzania and landlocked countries in the interior of Africa.

The name Tanzania is a combination of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The two states united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

The main language spoken by Tanzanians is Swahili, his is not closely but increasingly followed by English. Other languages spoken in tourist areas and cities include French, Russian, German, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu.

 

Early History

The human history of the land we now call Tanzania, spans over 10,000 years. Its first traceable inhabitants were belonged to the Khoisan and Sandawe ethnic group whose descendants now live in parts of the Kalahari Dessert. Theses Bushmen were predominantly hunter gatherers. Somewhere between 3000 and 5000 years ago, they were joined by Cushitic-speaking peoples from what became present-day Ethiopia. The newcomers had made their way south west bringing with them basic techniques of agriculture, food production and cattle tending. Gradually the Cushites absorbed the indigenous hunter gatherer Khosian and Sandawe communities.

From about 1000 BC, a series of human migrations into Tanzania began. Bantu-speaking peoples from the distant Niger delta in West Africa started to move slowly East through cameroon and Congo arriving in Tanzania at around the 100 BC. The Bantus brought more advanced agricultural skills, and knowledge of iron working and steel production. They absorbed many of the Cushites and all the most of the remaining Bushmen.

Later, Niolitic peoples began to arrive from Sudan. They were pastoralists looking for large grazing areas in north central Tanzania. There were some clashes with the resident Bantus but more often than not they managed to merge.

Meanwhile, coastal areas were being influenced different elements. Thee early Greeks were familiar with the East African Coast as an important trading post. From about 400 BC they refereed to it as Azania. The Bantus had likely been there for hundreds of years before then. Between 100 AD and 500 AD permanent settlements were built as traders first from the Mediterranean and later from Arabia and Persia, came ashore and began to intermix with the Bantu people. This gradually gave rise to the Swahili language and culture.

In the next few centuries, trading outposts were established all along the East African coast with central posts located at Tanga, the Zanzibar archipelago and Kilwa Kisiwani. Between the 13th and 15th centuries these settlements flourished through trade in local ivory, local gold and other goods from places as far away as India and China. However in the early 15th Century, the Portuguese having heard of the lucrative trading in East Africa, sent their famous explorer Vasco da Gama to pave the way for a possible Portuguese invasion. Vasco da Gama became the first European to reach East Africa in 1498. Within the next 27 years the Portuguese had managed to subdue the entire coast! They controlled all the major ports and coastal towns of East Africa; a coastline of some 7683 Kilometers, for over 200 years. Then in the 18th Century Arabs from Oman established a foothold in the region and expanded the trade routes inland as far as Lake Tanganyika and Central Africa. This proved to be so financially lucrative for the Arabs, that the Sultan of Oman packed his belongings, Wives and Servants, got on a ship and moved from Muscat to the Islands of Unguja (Zanzibar), which became the new Capital of his empire.

From then on, the Slave trade picked up speed, driven by demand from European plantation holders on the Indian Ocean islands of Reunion and Mauritius. This rise facilitated the rise of notorious slave traders like the infamous Tipu Tipu of Zanzibar.

 

The Colonial Era

By the 1800s more and more Europeans were traveling to East Africa and returning with stories of wealthy Sultans, prosperous merchants, ivory, gold and the barbarous the slave trade. East Africa became a prominent place in the minds of Western Europeans. The increase of the the slave trade inspired an influx of Christian Missionaries, most looking to spread the benefit of their faiths to the people of the interior. They came from all over the western world. The most famous of them was the British David Livingston; who championed the movement for the emancipation of slaves.

By the late 1880s Britain had established a sphere of influence on the Zanzibar Archipelago and on the Coast. The British used their powers to bare pressure on the Arab Sultans in order to maintain peace in the region (which was good for trade), and to bring to an end the Slave Trade, which was a goal strongly supported by the people of England. However 4 years later a German prospector called Carl Peters secretly traveled throughout the territory getting naive and desperate local Chiefs to sign away their land rights in exchange for money or goods. By 1891 most of Mainland Tanzania came under the control of the Germans. The Germans brought western education, healthcare, road and rail networks in northern and central parts of the territory. However they could not meet the needs and expectations of their large local populations and their labour policies were harsh. In 1905 rising tensions erupted into the Maji Maji rebellion. The rebellion was most bloody and destructive in the South of the territory. The Germans conceded defeat at the end of world war I when German East Africa came under the administrative control of the British. Throughout World war II the British remained the chief administrators of the territory.

 

Towards independence

During the years between ww I and ww II the British introduced a system of indirect rule aimed at establishing indigenous political institutions and leadership. This gave Africans a say in political affairs but only at the lower levels. Local Chiefs were replaced with pro-colonial leaders, but the system turned out to be a complete failure. Discontent widened between the locals and the government, however exporting crops brought some success. Many Farmer's cooperatives were formed, and it is through these cooperatives that political protest against colonial rule was expressed. In 1929 a cooperative group called the African Association organised itself and set a political agenda. They promoted the existing grass roots resentment against colonial rule. In 1948 they renamed the group the Tanganyika African Association (TAA). A rallying cause for the group came in the 1950s when several thousand Meru people from the Mount Meru region were evicted from their lands in western Kilimanjaro to make way for 12 European settlers to establish farms. The case was taken to the United nations General Assembly but was rebuffed. They then turned to the local political groups to redress their grievances. The TAA offered leadership and assistance with the case by exerting pressure and calling for more radical action.

 

Independence

In 1953 the TAA elected Julius Nyerere its President. He was educated at Makerere College in Kampala Uganda, and was one of the only 2 Tanganyikans educated in Europe at the time. He set about transforming the TAA into an effective political organisation. Unity and freedom lay at the heart of his political agenda. The TAA was renamed the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and its new constitution was published on the 7th of July 1954. The 7th of July is now an annual public holiday called seven seven or Saba Saba in Swahili. TANU's main objective was to achieve national sovereignty for Tanganyika. A campaign to register new members was launched, and within a year TANU had become the leading political organisation in the country. Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became officially independent in 1961.

Soon after independence, Nyerere's first presidency took a turn to the Left after the Arusha Declaration, which codified a commitment to Pan-African Socialism, social solidarity, collective sacrifice and "ujamaa" (familyhood). After the Declaration, banks were nationalised as were many large industries.

After the leftist Zanzibar Revolution overthrowing the Sultan in neighboring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the island merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the nation of Tanzania on April 26, 1964. The union of the two, hitherto separate, regions was controversial among many Zanzibaris (even those sympathetic to the revolution) but was accepted by both the Nyerere government and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar owing to shared political values and goals.

 

Regions and Districts

Tanzania is divided into 26 regions (mkoa), twenty-one on the mainland and five in Zanzibar (three on Unguja, two on Pemba). Ninety-eight districts (wilaya), each with at least one council, have been created to further increase local authority; the councils are also known as local government authorities. Currently there are 114 councils operating in 99 districts; 22 are urban and 92 are rural. The 22 urban units are further classified as city councils (Dar es Salaam and Mwanza), municipal councils (Arusha, Dodoma, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Morogoro, Shinyanga, Tabora, and Tanga) or town councils (the remaining eleven communities).

Tanzania's regions are: Arusha · Dar es Salaam · Dodoma · Iringa · Kagera · Kigoma · Kilimanjaro · Lindi · Manyara · Mara · Mbeya · Morogoro · Mtwara · Mwanza · Pemba North · Pemba South · Pwani · Rukwa · Ruvuma · Shinyanga · Singida · Tabora · Tanga · Zanzibar Central/South · Zanzibar North · Zanzibar Urban/West

 

Geography

At 945,087 km²,[6] Tanzania is the world's 31st-largest country (it comes after Egypt).

Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the Principal islands of Zanzibar Pemba and Mafia lying just offshore. It also has 72 smaller Islets within its waters all within a 1/2 a day's sail or less from each other.

Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park in the north, Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzee behavior.

 

Climate Weather & Sailing Winds

Temperatures:

Tanzania has a tropical type of climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10C and 20C during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures never falling lower than 20C. The hottest period spreads between November and February (25C - 31C) while the cooler period occurs between May and August (15C- 20C).

Rainfall

The rainy season begins in Mid-April and continues until Mid-June. The rains during this period are sporadic and occur intermittently in brief heavy showers up to 3 times a day.

Trade Winds

In General the wind blows from the South toward the North between April and August (south monsoon winds or southerlys). Then the winds turn and come more from the South West during August and September. In October and November the winds are Easterly. From December until March, the winds blow from the North, NNW and NNE.

 

Fact File

Population 40,000,000
Time Zone EAT (UTC+3)
Currency Tanzanian Shilling TZS
President H.E Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete

 

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